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Tips and tricks - simple cost saving methods and devices
Sat 15-Sep-12
3:22 pm
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Sooliz
Somerset

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Lidl do really good quality sliced cold meats and continental sausages.  And you can't beat them for basic tins of beans or tomatoes to use in cooking.

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Sun 16-Sep-12
11:41 pm
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Terrier
York

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You can get gorgeous crayfish tails from Lidl too, around £1.35 for a nice sized pack.

Mon 17-Sep-12
7:29 am
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Aly
Normandy France

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Gonna be controversial the tails look gorgeous on the crayfish! Seriously, we had started buying our red wine in Lidl due to price but had noticed we both felt really rough the next day. Changed to a slightly more expensive one from Carrefour and we are fine! I use Lidl for a few bits but it is different here.

Trying to enjoy life as it is

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Fri 4-Jan-13
10:50 am
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Sooliz
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Thought I'd revive this thread as we have a particular reason for wanting to save as much money as possible over the next few months.....It's our 30th wedding anniversary at the end of May (good grief, where on earth has the time gone?eeek) and we decided we'd like to go away on a special holiday - not had a proper, decent holiday for several years.  Found a lovely cottage in the Lizard area of Cornwall and booked it, paid a large deposit.....now we have to save for the balance, plus fuel and spending money, so need to get our thinking caps on and start saving!

Have already started a couple of things....several bloggy people are doing a 'Sealed Pot Challenge' - this involves getting a suitable container (ours is a small pretty cake tin), sealing it up so it can't be opened and dipped into willy-nilly, and cutting a hole in the top for money insertion.  We're saving all £2 coins and any spare loose change.

We're on Economy 7 here which, up till recently, was hardly used....the immersion heater is now set to come on early in the morning, and the washing machine is used overnight - I load and set it before I go to bed, husband switches it on when he gets home from work around 04.00 am. 

An area where we think we can save quite a bit of money is on shopping....considering there are only 2 of us, plus our occasional lodger and the cat, we sometimes spend ridiculous amounts of money in the supermarketembarassed.  Our freezers and larder are very well stocked now, I am intending to do meal plans and write a shopping list (both of which I've only done haphazardly in the past), and we are going to try and only shop fortnightly instead of weekly (or even twice weekly, as we have done sometimes doh).

I'm going to try and make ALL our bread from now on - it costs pence and tastes so much better.  We also intend to grow as much fruit/veg as we can this year, to hopefully last us throughout the whole year.

Any and all money-saving tips you can come up with will be greatly appreciated.

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Fri 4-Jan-13
4:27 pm
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eileen54
Somerset

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congratulations on your upcoming anniversary, we celebrated our 39th last saturday. I was married young!. I am trying hard to save as much as possible to pay off credit cards  so DH can give up work and we will be only one house to run. I have just recieved my dehydrator today. and have a food order from approvedfood coming on monday. My plan is to dry and store as much cheap food as I can and stock up on the cheap food from approvedfood, So that hopefully i may get away with a several months only buying milk and eggs.

Never give up Tomorrow is another day.

Fri 4-Jan-13
4:41 pm
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eileen54
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when I cook sausages i do them in the oven for 25mins but i do a lot 5  or 6  packs then freeze them , when we want sausage i just defrost and heat in microwave smile

Never give up Tomorrow is another day.

Fri 4-Jan-13
8:49 pm
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maggenpie
Cornwall, UK

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wave Sue! Lovely that you have something to look forward to and save for. smile

I do all those things already, my washing maching has a delay button so I make use of that. I had the same thought about food, though. Only two of us, cupboards and freezer are full - and yet I still go out and buy more! So for January, once again (because I did it last year), I'm on a mission to use what I have in store and only buy fresh fruit, veg and milk.

Never assume anything - except an occasional air of intelligence.

Fri 4-Jan-13
9:00 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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I have changed to shopping every other week, just topping up with fruit and veg in between. I always plan menus around what is in the pantry and freezer and buy fish and meat only when on special offer. I make my own bread and cakes. I allow myself a set amount for the shopping and never buy extras.

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Sat 5-Jan-13
9:45 am
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Original Redhead
Bulgaria

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I supermarket shop monthly and tend to buy veg we haven't grown at the market when we've in town, again about monthly - but not same town or week as supermarket.

 

Practically all my cooking is currently being done on/in the woodburner.   It's on so might as well use it.  

 

I'm cooking a lot of stew type meals and rather than freeze small amount of left overs I'll add rice/pasta/lentils, more stock (from freezer) and loads of spices to it for the 2nd day.  Also means I don't need to think about meals quite so often.    The other advantage of this is I should be able to defrost at least one of the freezers before this years crops need the space.

 

Herbs and spices are my biggest money saving tip, they can change a bland (cheap) polenta, for example, into something very special.

Failing is not a fault, refusing to try is

Sat 5-Jan-13
10:25 am
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Rob12
London, UK

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Two things that really can save you money:

 

1) shop at your local ethnic grocers (if you have them).  That alone can save you a fortune on staples  

   such as pulses, canned tomatoes, dried herbs

 

2) Use your slow cooker more (again, if you have one) it is amazing just how many tasty dishes can be

    made out of 'poorer' cuts of meat or even scraps from other meals with a slow cooker...

 

For me tomatoes, both fresh and canned, are the magic ingredient in the kitchen that can enhance so many dishes, especially slow cooked ones.

Sat 5-Jan-13
11:17 am
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Sooliz
Somerset

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Rob, I live in a very rural area of Somerset.....there aren't any grocers round here, never mind about ethnic ones! big_laugh  The nearest supermarket is about a 12-mile round trip, there are a couple of small shops in the village a couple of miles away, but their prices are too high for us to shop there regularly.  But Aldi and Lidl are good for cheap tins of pulses etc (both of those shops are near the supermarket, luckily).

I agree about the herbs/spices, it's amazing how they can transform any dish.  And Eileen, good idea about batch-cooking the sausages then microwaving them later.  I now always try to ensure I fill the oven when I have to use it.  Gone are the days when I put it on just for a tray of chips!

Going back to tinned tomatoes......hasn't the price of them shot through the roof! eeek  Another reason for us to grow as many as possible this year.

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Sat 5-Jan-13
12:32 pm
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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I find my tabletop halogen oven a huge saver of money as it is so economical to run, because it is small it heats up very fast. It is great for for roast dinners, i have even made bread & cakes in it. It takes a bit of getting used to but well worth it. I bought it having read Fiona's many articles on the dishes she & Danny have made in it. I bought the same machine as theirs & I bless the day I spent £39.99 on this machine. My electricity bill dropped almost immediately. I use it virtually every day. As it is portable you can take it with you on holiday if necessary.  It produces the best roast chicken I know. I also use my slow cooker a lot, another great money saver. 

By the way I can really recommend the company who make my halogen cooker, Andrew James UK Ltd. I have several pieces of Kitchen equipment made by them, all excellent. They have a very helpful Customer service department if you have any problems or need information & their delivery service is very fast.   laugh It sounds as if I work for them, doesn't it !!! I don't, I promise, it is just that they are so good & helpful I always look at their Amazon pages first before checking other makes & their prices are always better & the quality I know will be good.   

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Sat 5-Jan-13
1:22 pm
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eileen54
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hattie I love andrew james products , i have just bought my dehydrator from them, and hubby bought me a stand mixer from andrew james, still waiting for that to arrive.  I have 2 induction hobs from them and they really save me money they are so quick, they heat a can of soup on half power quicker than the microwave. I keep one on the bench to use all of the time and one in a drawer to get out when needed they only cost me £25.  I also have 2 halogen ovens but mine are jml, they are great.

 

sooliz i know what you mean about small shops, I can't walk to our supermarket and there are no buses to get there. we have 2 small co-ops one on either side of the crossroads but they are so expensive,and different prices.  I just discovered that a container of milk in one was 25 pence more expensive that the other one. i don't go there often but will have to be careful in the future

Never give up Tomorrow is another day.

Sat 5-Jan-13
2:19 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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Well I have finally ordered an Andrew James halogen oven, read the reviews and went for the deluxe and a cookery book. Have been umming and ahhing over this all last year and now it is done.

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Sat 5-Jan-13
2:51 pm
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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I think you will find it very useful Aly, especially when your Esse is off & I am sure OH will enjoy his roast dinners cooked in it. It has saved me a lot of money in the couple of years I have had it.

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

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